Real estate is a highly regulated market and sellers, agents, and landlords often have to modify their merchandise to suit the latest legal requirements. This keeps their property from compliance and regulatory risks and also attracts customers who appreciate best practices.
In light of several environmental and residential modifications, the Maryland General Assembly (MGA) and the Governor have recently passed some legislative bills to regulate varying aspects of property development and management. Below are some essential legal recommendations every property investor in Maryland should know.
Urban Development with New Reforestation Measures–SB526
The world climate is a growing concern in the global community. Its deterioration has constantly been attributed to continued urban development with limited or inadequate restorative or conservative efforts. To that end, there has been reduced allowance for real estate expansion to allow room for forest preservation and retention.
However, the Maryland General Assembly has recently updated the methods of calculating afforestation and preservation requirements in SB526, allowing municipal corporations to expand their construction projects. This is to be coupled with tree-planting practices in the development plans to meet forest conservation targets.
Consequently, corporations looking to develop projects within Maryland will now have to add trees to whatever construction they are planning. This will compensate for the loss of trees that the expansion will cause.
Electric Vehicles and Residential Unit Construction–HB830
Technology is advancing exponentially, and we are on the verge of welcoming electric transport in the US. As a proactive measure, the General Assembly passed House Bill 830, which states that residential unit developers have to add Electric Vehicle charging ports to their projects, along with parking spaces for such vehicles. The bill requires an EV charging port for every 25 residential/multi-family units.
The stated rate also applies to townhouses. Although the impact of electric transport installation on communal living is still yet to be estimated, the Maryland Energy Administration is expected to get a report back to the General Assembly on such implications before December 1, 2023.
Accessibility For Waterfront Property–HB338
The recently signed HB338 requires any multi-family building units located on the waterfront in Maryland to be within a half-mile radius of a communal rail station. This is to facilitate easy commuting for residents of such facilities to and from the city hubs. Hence, project developers will have to be careful about situating their residential apartment buildings in waterfront jurisdiction.
Rent Increment and Termination–HB151
The US Housing laws are well known for providing proper tenant satisfaction and ensuring they are well-treated right from the tenancy agreement. In line with tenancy protection acts, Maryland’s legislature has updated the landlord-tenancy laws, preventing landlords from suggesting electronic mail as a means of communicating rent increments.
In the same vein, the bill prescribes that notification of rent expiration should be through first-class mail, except the tenant prefers electronic mail. Thus, even though electronic mail is the medium of choice in modern-day communication, landlords cannot use it except when the tenant suggests it.
Eviction and Landlord Licensures–HB36
For regions where landlords are expected to hold licenses to their property, House Bill 36 requires that such landlords present their licenses to the court during the tenant eviction procedure to clarify their compliance with the state laws. The licenses will be presented to the court clerk during the eviction hearing, who will then ascertain the licensee’s status.
State Initiative for Accessible Housing Units–SB348
The Federal government issues vouchers for low-income families to enable them to acquire standard housing. However, there is always a waiting list, which prevents such residents from getting their vouchers quickly.
The Maryland General Assembly has passed Senate Bill 348, which launches a Statewide Rental Application Voucher Program to assist low-income households. The scheme will ensure they get adequate funds for a residence while they are waiting on the federal voucher. Subsequently, the initiative will directly impact the property market, increasing potential buyers and tenants across the state.
Maryland Community Investment Venture Fund–HB548
To further increase the participation of low-income earning residents, the General Assembly signed in House Bill 548 to create an Investment Venture Fund in Maryland. The Fund will incentivize financial institutions like banks and credit unions to serve the low-income regions of the state.
More funds for residents in such counties and jurisdictions will mean more activity in the realty sector. Sales and leases of properties in such regions will spike as more people access the Maryland Community Investment Venture Fund.
Keeping up with real estate legislation is essential to maintaining a consistent presence in the realty market as an investor. Such information places you several steps ahead of the competition and ensures you don’t get caught up in legal technicalities.
If you want to explore how investment properties in Maryland may be affected by new legislation, reach out to the team at Ben Frederick Realty today.